The eagerly awaited return of Totilas to the competition circuit hit a stumbling block this weekend in Wiesbaden, Germany (12 June), in the form of the towering partnership of Britain’s leading dressage rider Laura Bechtolsheimer and her Michellino gelding Mistral Hojris (“Alf”).

In Sunday’s grand prix for special qualifier, a 78.76% from Laura put her 5% clear of Totilas and Matthias Alexander Rath’s 73.4%.

In the arena, Totilas and Rath looked very much like a new combination and communication difficulties between the two saw them awarded with the horse’s lowest-ever score at grand prix.

In the following day’s special, Laura and Alf had some niggles in the one-time changes on the centreline, which proved costly. The pair, drawn just ahead of Totilas and Rath, still posted a strong 80.5%.

But Rath and Totilas had ironed out some of the previous day’s issues and produced a more polished performance, which was rewarded by an 81.47% win.

However, two of the five judges had Laura to win, so the London 2012 gold medal is still very much up for grabs.

See full report in Brits Abroad H&H 23 June issue